Detox cocktails for the holiday-ravaged bod

“Sometimes I drink water just to surprise my liver.”

Why wait for January 1st?  Flush out the cells with a healthy shock to the system after all that holiday yumminess.  Can’t hurt to go through the motions, right??  Here’s something I tried this morning:

Ingredients
1 large glass of water (12-16 oz.)
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. raw honey

Directions
Blend all ingredients together (I used a shaker cup)

Details of why this is good for you below* BUT all you need to know is that this concoction is NOT DELICIOUS** and therefore must be fabulous for the bod.

For other green/happy/detox recipes check out these winners:

Party on the Top, Party on the Bottom Tie-Dye Smoothie

Super Detox Green Cleansing Smoothie

Kid-friendly Green Smoothie with Banana

*Apple Cider Vinegar is full of acetic acid which has been shown to lower blood pressure up to 6%. It can also help eat up the starches if you do eat grains in your diet. Lemon juice helps balance blood sugar and has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate ph. Cinnamon is one of the best anti-oxidants on the planet. It is the number one herb/spice for balancing blood sugar. Honey contains enzymes that stimulate the digestive process and boosts metabolism, which contributes to weight reduction. YUM.

** I used warm water and pretended it was some sort of exotic après ski nog in a European destination of the rich and famous. Very oddly, I thought this was relatively good for the most part, and then it became a chore.  At the end I just plugged my nose and chugged it.

 

Reprise: Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie

Healthy smoothies, anytime

Healthy smoothies, anytime

A while back, when smoothies became my go-to solution for quick, healthy breakfasts and snacks, I posted about my favourite at the time: a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie.

In all it’s glory – rich chocolate creaminess, with the whisper of banana and hint of nuttiness.

What – bananas don’t whisper in your world??  You must listen more closely.

 

I never really follow a recipe. I tend to be more of on-the-fly kind of smoothie barista. Every day is different.

This time I decided to get it together and pen a quick how-to for future reference.

Assembly of champions

Assembly of champions

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1.5 to 2 cups of chocolate almond milk
2 bananas, peeled
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 scoop of protein powder, chocolate or vanilla

Place all ingredients into the blender and tah-dah! Smoothies awesomesauce. Add more or less almond milk, depending on the consistency you prefer. Ditto for using a frozen banana or adding ice to chill.  For extra nutty goodness, use crunchy peanut butter.

This smoothie travels well, too.  I tend to pour any extras into a mason jar and pop it into the fridge at work for a mid-morning snack.  Take it out, give it a shake and it’s good to go maintaining a creamy texture without the over-separation of ingredients.

Happy blending!

P.S. I’m not too particular about my protein powders.  Anyone have some good suggestions on a vanilla one?

Don’t think, just do

One of those weeks, just after you pledge yourself to a new fitness goal, and whammo!

Work gets in the way of life. Life gets in the way of plans.

Getting up at 0500 hrs to get to the gym only worked for two of five work days. My brain totally was a pain in the ass. If I allowed myself to THINK in the wee hours of the morning, I could talk myself into the snooze button, or the logic of “Gee, you seem tired. Maybe take a rest day.” {Note to self, there is no thinking permitted for February}  Of course, for each of the three days I missed, I pledged to get there in the evening for a class or spot of time on the treadmill. No go.

Dead of winter, 0500 hrs - do I really want to get out of bed??

Dead of winter, 0500 hrs – do I really want to get out of bed??

Missed supper twice due to staying late at work. Found myself ogling an old Chinese lady on the train who pulled out a Pop Tart from her bag and was nibbling it top down, making the silver wrapping crinkle. I suddenly wanted that refined fake crazy processed food. Mmmmm Pop Tart.

All shocking. Sigh.

But, good things did happen despite missing CRITICAL GYM TIME:

 

  • Internet whining due to lack of foundational garment support has resulted in a set of Champion sports bras materializing in my possession.  Thanks to the generosity of Ms. A. there shall be RUNNING this weekend on the treadmill.
  • Pineapple was the starring ingredient in this week’s smoothie set.  I picked up a ginormous bag of frozen pineapple at Costco and thoroughly enjoy the fresh flavour and the way this fruit thickens up a smoothie. Ingredients: Pineapple, OJ, vanilla almond milk, banana. Optional items: ice, yogurt and/or ginger.  Love the heat of the ginger with the freshness of the pineapple.
  • Got an email from my Spartan/mud run buddy, Ms. N. who wants to look at some spring and summer goals and wowza, we might have a good one.   Stay tuned.

It’s a new MONTH, peeps!   I will do a “last chance workout” at the gym, then weigh myself.  Let’s see if one month of … (well, I wouldn’t say trying hard, because despite my good intentions I certainly slacked right some good) … MODERATE EFFORT has made a difference.

Embracing routine

I loved being in the mountains, but I missed my little “health” routine.

Oh my gosh – words of a stodgy middle-aged person??

My 0600 hrs gym workouts. The ability to drink as much water as I need to without worrying about the midnight run to the outhouse. Having a choice about the food I was eating. (What a whiner I am…)

I feel super duper accomplished to have “done” Skoki in the winter on snowshoes.  I ache for the mountains on a regular basis, and it totally was amazing to be there for a long weekend.  But it wasn’t enough.  And now I need a new anchor – a new goal to shoot for. Am thinking about this now… must come up with a fresh, awesome, hard goal.  That requires training. Something short term, something long term.

In the mean time, excited to be back to my little routines, I made a different smoothie this morning.  It was a “Cake Batter Smoothie” with cottage cheese, vanilla almond milk, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a few drops of almond extract, some vanilla extract, ice and a banana.  It wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t have anything on my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie

How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?  ~Anthony Robbins

Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie. Yes, it has sugar.

In December, when I was contemplating HOW TO CHANGE MY LIFE, I had these daily mini-goals in mind for my life in the kitchen:

  • Increase the amount of water I drink, truly making a conscious effort to drink whether I felt like it or not
  • Increase my “clean eating” and start moving away from processed food (anything in a box I have to THINK about before buying)
  • Increase my fruits & vegetables. More fruit! More dark coloured veg!
  • Decrease my carb intake a bit. Not completely remove carbs, but to take the amount I reduce and replace it with the point above – more fruit/veg
  • Decrease my sugar intake, which is soooo tricky because sugar seems to be hidden in everything!
  • Use my FitBit more efficiently – tracking all my food intake and my exercise to see the true balance between what I eat and what I burn
  • Alcohol… well, when the spirit moves you.  I’m making no promises there.

With the thought that I’ll lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym, these little reminders have helped so far this month.  Sometime it’s a hugely conscious effort to get in those veggies, or keep drinking water.  And as for food in a box?  Wow.  I’m amazed how quickly my grocery bill jumps when I started adding in food in boxes and jars.  Sticking to fresh really is more cost efficient.

One of the things l like the most in the mornings is a smoothie to pack in fruit, veg, etc and drink that sucker down.  My favourite smoothie “treat” is a chocolate peanut butter smoothie (yes, I know, see the point above about trying to cut back on sugar….). I use Earth’s Own chocolate almond milk, a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, a frozen banana, and a bit of ice. So delicious! Sometimes I’ll throw in chia seeds or hemp, or even spinach, because seriously, you can’t taste the spinach at all. (Probably the 21 grams of sugar in the chocolate almond milk that solves that issue).

This week I’m going to freeze 7 sets of smoothie ingredients in easy-to-grab baggies at the beginning of the week so I just need to drop it in the blender, add my water, almond milk or juice and tah-dah – done! Because believe it or not, when I’m standing half awake in the kitchen at 0515 hrs trying to tell myself to eat something before the gym, foraging for fruit seems like a monumental task.

Smoothie tip: Keep a stash of peeled ripe bananas in the freezer as a fruit option / thickener to any smoothie.